How I Recognized That My Son is Walking Toward Adulthood

Sometimes ordinary things speak in unexpected ways.

This week I shopped for clothes with my son for his senior pictures. He is my youngest. This is the last time I will be shopping for this rite of passage. Buying my son’s clothes has been part of my routine for over 20 years. But, as he prepares for his senior year, I know all to well that he is transitioning into adulthood. My roles as a parent are blatantly changing.

Dress clothes have never been his favorite attire. As a young child, he complained about the stifling feeling and sometimes scratchy fabric. His sensitivity to material and routine are part of who he is. And he has worked on adjusting to both.

So it hit me, as I talked with him that night about ironing his pants, that this pair is different than any other pair. He is unlikely to outgrow these and the replacements will probably be purchased on his own. They are accompanying him into a new season: adulthood. As college looms a year from now, I wonder: where these pants will go? Possibly a date, new church or social events with friends he has yet to meet. Most likely an internship, or job interview. They will literally walk with him the path to independence and a community apart from his family.

I ironed them knowing that my days of doing it are numbered. I touched them wondering what stories will unfold in their midst. As he sat nearby, I reminded him that a day is coming in his future professional career when he can no longer get away with wearing sweats. “I know,” he replied. “I will just have to find comfortable pants.”

My son is ready for the transition into a new place, both figuratively and literally. I trust in God, who loves him more than I, and claim this blessing for him: “You go before me and follow me.You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5.

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